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Love/Hate Plant Relationships…

You got any? After ten minutes of trying to pull up some weeds and yank some vines down, I sure do. And here’s the first one:

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Black-eyed Susan Vine, also called Clock Vine (Thunbergia alata) is simply gorgeous when it stays where you want it to stay. But it will take off during the summer (especially when you’ve been AWOL from the garden for months) and cover everything in its path. It is an annual, so it will die, but it will leave behind a LOT of seeds that come rushing back in the spring, each year. 

Now if you wonder why a mere ten minutes of yanking this out of my trees, off of my shrubs, and down from the roof of the Bali hut is such a big deal, I’ll tell you. Because it is 95 degrees in my back yard today. NINETY-FIVE! And ten minutes is the absolute maximum I can take before I run back inside to cool down again, cursing the black-eyed Susan vine every step of the way. It’s bloomin’ HOT out there, pardon my pun. So I wish I didn’t have to deal with this vine smothering all its neighbors, beautiful or not.

What grows in your garden or yard that you love the look of, but hate dealing with? (Not counting lawns. I don’t know why anyone, anywhere grows grass, so I’m going to ignore that for the purposes of this post.) What troubles you to the point that you really want to get rid of it, but like the flowers or fruit or leaves so much, you just can’t bring yourself to do so? I’d love to know.

 

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Fantastic Solution for Flower Beetle Problems!

Abraham Darby David Austiin Rose

Abraham Darby

I was outside working today when Mark asked me to come look at something and tell him whether he should rescue the critters or not. (He has learned that many insects are welcome in my garden.) Imagine my surprise when I looked into a white plastic 5-gallon container and saw about 50 dead or dying flower beetles (see earlier post) floating in 3 or 4 inches of water!  I remembered that when I was reading about them, most articles said they were attracted to pale colored flowers, and I had noticed that  seemed to be true. They were ignoring Louis Philippe, for instance, which is red. I think they saw that white bucket, thought it was the biggest white flower in the world, crawled in , and conveniently drowned!  I plan to test my theory by locating several of them throughout my rose garden until this year’s infestation is over. It beats the heck out of walking around and plucking them one by one to drown them in a butter container full of soapy water. Not that that’s hard, but it does take some time. How nice it would be to wake up each morning and find that the beetles had been thoughtful enough to commit suicide during the night!  Will let you know if it continues to work, but I am optimistic. I mean, how likely is it that the drowning beetles would have yelled out warnings to their friends to stay away from the big white flowers? I’m thinkin’ this might be the best answer, ever!

They’re BAAAA-AAAAAAACK!

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Japanese Beetles

Run far, run fast! The Japanese beetles are back. Or possibly they are Chinese Rose Beetles. But what they MOSTLY are is HUNGRY. For my roses. They manage to squeeze inside the buds and eat them from the middle out, completely destroying the blooms before they can even open. There are so many beetles on the rose above, they can’t hide. On mine, you often have to pull the petals apart to find the sneaky little devils! I hate them with the hatred of a thousand burning suns!!  But there are two good things I try to keep in mind. One, they are only here a few weeks, and then they disappear for another year. And two, they are ridiculously easy to hand pick and drop into a dish of soapy water for the Bath Of Death. So no need to use nasty pesticides. I just fill a plastic margarine tub with some water and a heavy squirt of Dawn, and I walk through the gardens plucking the nasty little blighters from every rose I see them on, dropping them into their Day Spa of Doom, and voila. Soon, the roses are safe again.

Do you get rose beetles?  How do you handle them?